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4.1 out of 5 stars
Fred Claus [Blu-ray]
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 20, 2007
Format: Theatrical Release
I read many reviews from both Amazon and other print sources and the overwhelming reaction to Fred Claus was one of disappointment and worse. This won't be the first nor last time I am glad I looked into something for myself instead of trusting others. I don't know if it is my own sordid, pathetic personal life history or what, but this movie touched me and I left the movie emotionally moved and struck by how something advertised as your typical holiday comedy fare (read: stupid and infantile) could have delivered such a blow to my heart.
Vince Vaughn, who is the Bill Murray of his generation, delivers an endearing performance, Paul Giamatti is, as always, brilliant, and the rest of the cast is very good. The plot is simple enough but the undercurrent of family relationships and how they can influence people throughout their life hit me hard. One last positive - the soundtrack is a wonderful mix of seasonal favorites old and new with the bonus of a haunting Silent Night by Sinead O'Connor (which just sent me over the teary edge) and the Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World medley by the Hawaiian singer whose name I can neither remember nor spell.
Fred Claus will not make you throw out It's A Wonderful Life or even Rudolph the Reindeer, but it is heartwarming and deserves to be judged before dismissed as yet another warmed over holiday leftover.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format: Theatrical ReleaseVerified Purchase
For the month or so as well as the past year or two, Hollywood has been releasing a string of disappointing or downright bad Christmas movies (The Golden Compass, Happy Feet, Deck the Halls). Thankfully, Fred Claus was a pleasant surprise.

I agree with some of the reviews. This is not the funniest Christmas movie that I have seen. Then again, it does not really need to be. Vaughn is funny overall. He was funnier than he was in 'The Break-Up' (not hard to do). It is generally a good story with a fair amount of good laughs along with a good, semi-touching story.

The other thing I do when I see a Christmas movie is ask "Do I want to add this to my movie collection when it comes out on DVD?" My answer is definitely yes.

In summary, it is fairly good movie. It is worth seeing. You decide after that if it is good enough to add to the home Christmas movie collection.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
Vince Vaughn makes an excellent jaded older brother of Santa Claus. Only Vince Vaughn can play such a sarcastic character and pull-off also having a heart of gold. It's similar to his character in Dodgeball, but with a little more bite. His clever wit alone makes this film worth seeing. Paul Giamatti makes an excellent St. Nick - a seemingly perfect and nice Santa Claus who is also very human (imagine a chubby Claus maniacally driving a snowmobile through Santa's village). The film is fresh for adults, while still being cute, and has a happy ending full of all the Christmas cheese one expects from a Christmas film. Overall the film is very satisfying. The true estimate of a good film lies in the number of watches it has, and this film has several.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 20, 2008
Format: DVD
FRED CLAUS

Since it is the month of December it was a no brainier that I would have to get into some holiday films. I decided I would start this out with a new release from this month in the form of "Fred Claus", which is a really good film despite being a PG rated film [took me by surprise]. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of good PG rated films out there but one starring Vince Vaughn just seems weird at first. I bring that up because some reviews I have read say that Vince's performance was bad, mainly because he wasn't in R-Rated mode. I also wanted to do this one because I just went to see Vince's new film which is also a Christmas film, "Four Christmases" which was a really funny film.

On that note I must say that I really enjoyed this film although to be honest I knew I would because of the cast. It turns out that we really did not know everything about Santa after all, sure all the myths were true but we never knew about his big brother Fred. It seems that Fred is the exact opposite of his little bro and is actually a bitter person holding a lot of animosity towards Saint Nick. So after a not so good childhood between the two they go their separate ways and well you know what became of Nick, Fred on the other hand ended up quite different. If Santa is a giver [at least once a year] Fred is a taker, literally, he is a repo man. Fred is an unhappy man who only has one friend in a little kid named Sam, and a shaky relationship with his girlfriend Wanda. One day he gets into a little mishap with a gang of Santa's and ends up behind bars; it is here that he makes a deal with his brother about posting bail and also giving him a lot of cash. The deal is in order to get the cash he needs Fred must agree to come to the North Pole to visit his family and work for the cash at Santa's Shop.

The film really picks up here as not only is the family getting into it with each other but they are doing it in front of Clyde Northcut, a man who is there to shut Santa's operation down. So naturally Fred's being there only adds to the problems, especially since they are on a three strike rule by Clyde. I have to say that writers Jessie Nelson and Dan Fogelman have crafted a really heartfelt, warm and funny film that is much better then it gets credit for, come on any film with some "ninja action" secret service Elves is good in my book. These two along with director David Dobkin [who provides a good commentary for the film] have really done a good job of not only adding in and sticking to the mythos of Santa Claus but also making this film feel real up to date. Take for instance a scene were the family Claus call an intervention for the black sheep trouble child Fred, what other film has done that?

As far as the actors go everyone does an outstanding job and really make their characters seem real. Vince Vaughn [who co-produced this film along side 4 other producers one of which is Joel Silver] as usual shines as the troubled yet quick thinker who while bad will find his way to the light, his character really is a smart guy. He is a jerk but at the same time he is really a kind hearted guy, and Vaughn brings his character to life. Paul Giamatti is nothing short of brilliant as Nick Claus, he brings a lot of emotion to the character. You can see the stress he is under from Clyde come through in his face and you can see the pain in his eyes about how he feels about his relationship with his brother. Kevin Spacey is great as Clyde who is there to end Christmas, his scene with Vince about chopping down the bigger tree is brilliant and he truly is Superman [just watch the movie]. John Michael Higgins as Willie the head elf shines as Vince's best bud up at the pole, and Bobb'e J. Thompson as Sam is really good as is Ludacris as the Elf DJ, and Trevor Peacock is great not only as Papa Claus but also as the narrator.

But this film would not have been as good if the ladies were not up to par, and they all do wonderful jobs. My favorite actress of all time Kathy Bates is great as Mama Claus who just can't seem to treat her oldest as well as her youngest. Her tension with Nick's wife is really played well, and both actresses do great jobs. Speaking of Nick Claus's wife, Miranda Richardson plays Annette Claus wonderfully and her scenes laying it onto Fred for being a screw up are great. Elizabeth Banks plays Charlene who is Willie's love interest and she does a great job, Rachel Weisz does a great job as well playing Wanda Fred's girlfriend.

I would say that this is really a good film, just go into it wanted to have a good time and you will. Maybe I liked this film so much because it is the first Christmas related film I have watched this month or maybe it is because of the significance of this month. It may be because for the first time in years I sat down and watched a movie with my mom, step dad [both came down from Maryland], brother, sister [who came down with them two], grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, 2 year old cousin and my girl that I liked it so much, either way I was really entertained. I recommend this film to everyone reading this, especially during this month. It may not be the greatest Christmas movie ever but it was still very enjoyable. Kids will defiantly like it and adults should to, it is a great story full of out there, likeable, endearing characters. I had a great time watching a funny family movie with my family gathered round.

P.S. there are some deleted scenes.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This Movie Is For Kids It's Rated PG. You Guys Are Making It Sound Like It Was Suppose To Win A Bunch Awards Or Something. It's A Family Holiday Movie. My 3yr Old Nephew Sat Through This Entire Movie And That Has Never Happened Before. Paul Giamatti Was A Great Santa That Loved His Brother Through Think or Thin. Kevin Spacey My Number 1 Actor Of All Time Plays The "Bully" I Guess You Can Say And He Plays Him Well. Fred(Vince Vaughn)Is Just A Misunderstood Guy That Can't Live Up To His Brother Being Santa Claus. And His Mother(Kathy Bates) Doesn't Help This Situation At All. The End When The Kids Open Their Gifts Takes Me Back To When I Was 5 And So Happy With What Santa Claus Brought Me. Give It A Chance And Remember They Made It For The Kids Not Just You.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
Format: DVD
This movie is so funny. It is about two brothers that have issues with each other. Vince Vaughn is the big brother to his "saintly" little brother Nicolaus. He grows up in his shadow and is jealous and insecure. But in the end they
resolve things and help a few other people along the way. The little boy that goes into foster care and then is adopted is wonderful (more people should be foster/adoptive parents). Anyway, when Fred looses control toward DJ Donnie and changes the music to an Elvis song....well, I laugh so hard that I can not see straight. Vince is dancing on the table and the elves are having a blast.....It is a great show. I would say that it is for children over 10 but my 5 year old loves the "Elivs" part so much that we replay that section a lot.....all through out the year. This is a great movie!!! There is one scene where there is a group of "unhappy siblings" in a group session. There is Clinton, Stalone, Baldwin and more but I have to say that
Bill Clinton's brother steals that scene. Fred calls it like he sees it and then when he sees things differently....well, he calls it differently...I hope that make sense. I do not want to give it all away. It is a great movie. We watch it at least once a month.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
My husband and I really like this movie. It made me crack up as well as cry in places. For anyone who has ever felt that they were in the shadow of a more popular sibling, this movie will provide some solace. At least we are not Santa's brother....

The movie is absolutely hilarious in places, yet provides many tender moments. This really is well worth purchasing and watching. It has a lot of modern jokes but nothing dirty or too adult (which seems hard to find nowadays, even at Christmas). I think adults will identify with the material more than kids since it reflects on the experience of growing from childhood to adulthood in the shadow of a more-favored sibling. This will become a Christmas classic for those us us born after 1950.

Kudos to the folks who brought us a modern take on Santa and how it would be to be related to him, in good ways and challenging ones. Do yourself a favor and see this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2009
Format: DVD
I read another review talking about how this movie was moving, maybe because of their chlidhood. I too felt the same. Maybe I also had a pathetic childhood, but I loved the concept of this. There are not naughty children, just children who are misunderstood or haven't been given the best circumstances in life. If you are looking for a good message and fun humor this is a great find!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
It is awesome and reminds us all how to be a little less selfish. Also that you never know why some people act the way they do, but the answer to deal with anyone is love!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2010
Format: DVD
I have to admit when I first heard about this movie I thought-stupid!, but after watching for the first time this year I've changed my opinion-it's really good!. Vaughn and Giamatti are really funny together and it's a really nice Christmas movie. The actor who plays Willie the elf was pretty funny as well. Pick this one up, you won't regret it.
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